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US envoy to anti-IS coalition reportedly resigning to protest Syria pullout

Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Brett McGurk provides an update on the D-ISIS campaign, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on August 4, 2017. (U.S. State Department/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The U.S. envoy to the international coalition fighting the Islamic State (IS) extremist group has resigned to protest President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria, AP reports.

Envoy Brett McGurk, who was appointed by President Barack Obama and retained by Trump, submitted his resignation letter on December 21. The Associated Press on December 22 quoted an unnamed “official familiar with its contents” as saying McGurk would leave his post at the end of the month.

In his resignation letter, McGurk said that IS militants were not yet defeated and that the premature withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria could allow them to regroup.

Earlier this month, before Trump announced his decision to withdraw the 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria, McGurk told journalists it would be “reckless” to consider IS defeated in Syria.

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Earlier, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned in the wake of Trump’s decision, saying the president deserved a defense secretary whose views “are better aligned” with his.